The influence of online fandom on
film production, promotion
The active audience
Fans often express their passion for a chosen canon of texts
in a very informed way.
They may research all that is linked to their favourite
films: from its producers and influences to the opinions
of the rest of the fan community.
They will often write about their thoughts and
interpretations and to share those with the widest
They may also actively seek to meet the actors,
directors or other cultural producers that are involved in
the film for interviews that will later be shared with other
fans through fanzines, internet blogs or amateur film
websites such as YouTube.
„Fans are, in one sense, ‘ideal consumers’ since their
consumption habits can be very highly predicted by the
culture industry, and are likely to remain stable.
They have been known to attach value to anything that has
a connection to their favourite text: films, books, tie-ins,
collectibles. This behaviour can sometimes be taken
advantage of by major corporations.
For example, collectible 3D glasses were sold in some
cinemas for £3.00 on the release of the 3D version of Harry
Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Davit Yates, UK 2011),
these were three times the price of a normal pair of 3D
glasses and their round shapes did not cover the spectators‟
field of visions as well as normal rectangular pairs. They were
aimed at fans of the franchise and confirmed their
predictability when they sold out in the first weekend.
Fans and the internet
This sharing among fans has been happening for decades
through the publication of fanzines, conventions and fan
clubs. However, these channels always had a limited and
specialised audience. The globalization of the internet
offered many opportunities for fans who saw it as a means for
immediate and unrestricted expression.
The influential fan
If you look at the most successful films since the year 2000,
you cannot help but notice that a wide majority are
adaptations, sequels or remakes of popular material.
In a time of economic recession, fans have been identified
as the audience to target. Not only are they vocal about
what they want to see and have a predictable consumption
behaviour, but they are also measurable: often signed up to
fan clubs and forums, “followers” on Twitter or “fans” on
Such audience predictability minimises risks and marketing
There has been a move from critics-only festivals
and press screenings, and towards fan festivals
(such as Comic Con) and „Talkers‟ – free early
screenings advertised on the internet to films fans.
Social networking has become one of the most
convenient and cost-efficient medium to promote
Christopher Nolan is famous for his thought provoking films
and, by making the fans reflect on elaborate clues, he and
his marketing team flatter their
fans’ intelligence. A considerable
amount of effort is required in
order to obtain small amounts of
information and this works to
make the release of the film an
exciting event where all can be
Nowadays, fans have in many ways taken the place of
professional movie reviewers and can be considered